Wall Street Journal, "Was the $5 Billion Worth It?"
Bill Gates discusses the impact of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s $5 billion investment since 2000 to improve education. With assets of $34 billion, the foundation is larger than the next three biggest foundations combined. Gates concedes that efforts to create smaller schools had little impact and now is focusing on education research hopefully to drive innovation in teacher training and other critical areas. - HTN Foundation
By JASON L. RILEY
JULY 23, 2011
'It's hard to improve public education—that's clear. As Warren Buffett would say, if you're picking stocks, you wouldn't pick this one." Ten years into his record-breaking philanthropic push for school reform, Bill Gates is sober—and willing to admit some missteps.
"It's been about a decade of learning," says the Microsoft co-founder whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is now the nation's richest charity. Its $34 billion in assets is more than the next three largest foundations (Ford, Getty and Robert Wood Johnson) combined, and in 2009 it handed out $3 billion, or $2 billion more than any other donor. Since 2000, the foundation has poured some $5 billion into education grants and scholarships.
Seated in his office at the new Gates Foundation headquarters located hard by the Emerald City's iconic Space Needle, Mr. Gates says that education isn't only a civil-rights issue but also "an equity issue and an economic issue. . . . It's so primary. In inner-city, low-income communities of color, there's such a high correlation in terms of educational quality and success."
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